There are many challenges that a person with disabilities has to go through to secure employment and keep it. In some cases, you might find that people with disabilities are paid less than their non-disabled counterparts.
In other cases, you’ll find them being mistreated at their workplaces, and looked down upon as people who cannot be relied on simply because of their disability.
There are laws against this, but recently, many articles are calling out bosses who do not encourage valuing individuals with disabilities as human beings with equal opportunities. There are many challenges that disabled people have to live with when employed and even as they seek employment.
1. Employers' doubt
For many business owners, employing a person who is disabled is a sign of poor leadership since there is considerable skepticism and misconceptions concerning this group. Doubt emanates from the persons’ inability to recognize the achievements of the disabled individual and judging them based on their disability. No matter how much they try, many people with disabilities do not fit in at work when they get employed as they are given meager roles, which the boss thinks is the only thing they can handle. Such instances anger people with disabilities, and they may lead to depression and a lowered self-esteem. Doubting an individual’s capabilities doesn't bode well for an employer. They might let go of one of the best employees they would have hired because they doubt their ability. Interestingly, you might come across a person with a disability carrying out their objectives easily and making their employers considerable profits after being given a chance.
2. Lack of education
Uneducated people, disabled or not, do not easily find a job unless they work as manual laborers, delivery boys, etc. These tasks are impossible to complete, especially for people with walking disabilities, blindness, etc. The problem with education for disabled people is that none of them chose not to be educated. Circumstances sometimes may have forced such people to go their entire lives without an education simply because their parents did not want them to go through the stigma, or they could not comprehend what was being taught. However, many disabled people complete their studies and even acquire lucrative degrees that see them working in nationally-recognized organizations. However, it is not always as easy as it sounds because some organizations would instead hire a non-disabled high-school graduate than a disabled degree holder.
3. Trapped in Poverty
Sometimes, people with disabilities get trapped in poverty their entire lives for reasons such as the family has spent their entire fortune on the individual’s health and being born poor. There are also some instances where people with disabilities grow up in care centers as their parents neglected them. Poverty would hinder the individual, no matter how qualified they are, from reaching the interview grounds or dressing well as they attend the interview. Also, it is not definite if they would be chosen for the post; hence the majority stay at home for lack of finances to groom themselves for the opportunities.
Working an office job can be challenging for a person with disabilities, especially if they do not get along with other employees. People with disabilities often face stigmatization, especially if their disabilities are visible, such as the inability to walk. Some of the employees are isolated by their peers who fear that the disability might be transmitted. This is a high level of ignorance since no person would contact disability from another person unless they were engaged in a fight that leaves the abled person disabled.
5. The disparity between supply and demand
People with disabilities experience a considerable employment gap caused by their tendency to quit employment due to stigmatization and other challenges. The reasons for leaving are quite obvious. Therefore, employers are advised to make the conditions of working suitable for them. Imagine having to climb stairs in clutches or locating your office chair in an office you have never seen since it is not equipped with the right amenities for disabled people. Looking into the needs of disabled people reduces the rate at which people commit suicide out of depression. Through poverty and isolation, it has been noted that people with disabilities leave very uncertain lives as their employers expect them to carry out their tasks in very unconducive environments. Jeers and altercations from other employees are the central champions of depression and other issues affecting disabled people at work.
6. Transport and Accommodation facilities
As noted earlier, many organizations lack the proper amenities for people with disabilities. This makes it almost impossible for disabled people to cope with work and other factors. To begin with, people using a wheelchair, for example, require room for mobility. If they work upstairs, the organization should be fully equipped with an elevator for the people or an escalator to aid their movement. Although such changes will be costly to many organizations, it is a by-law that disabled people work in environments that are comfortable and friendly to their nature. In the example of a person using a wheelchair, if there is no movement space, how would they maneuver through the organization and even carry out simple mundane tasks like going to the loo?
7. Negative attitudes
Some people are just angry at disabled people for no reason. They try to make their lives as complicated as possible as they do not wish to continue working together. Such people make disabled people feel like they do not belong in the organization and demeans their self-esteem. Negative stereotypes about disabled people have caused many organizations to shy away from employing them, and if they do, they keep a keen eye out for them in case they mess up. The organization leaders’ attitudes towards the person with disability may cause climatic results that would last their lifetime.
It is good to care for people with disabilities and show them the best ways to make their work as comfortable as possible. Employees and fellow employees need to understand persons with disabilities and drive the strategic option, not killing their morale but boosting it. This would change the dynamic of the organization.